The obvious- child abusers, drugees, murderers. But especially those whose children have to learn this the hard way- the selfish, the self-absorbed, those who never grow up enough to understand and appreciate the enormous responsibility that they have taken on. These parents are the ones that leave damaged children who spend too much time in their lives trying to figure out why they fell short. These parents are oblivious to the damage that they cause, never taking responsibility, only claiming that they "did the best they could".
Being a parent means loving someone more than yourself, putting someones else's needs above your own, and nurturing the being that you have brought into this world. Should be simple.
As one of these children, you grow up often feeling inadequate, undeserving, and constantly in search. In search of what makes things better. But nothing ever really does.
Until the day comes when it does get better. The day that you start liking yourself, in all of your imperfections and start allowing others to like you, too. At first, not everyday is a good day, but eventually the good days outnumber the bad.
Parenting has been healing for me and confusing. Healing because my babies fill my heart. Any empty space there has been filled, I would say my heart is now even overflowing. Confusing because my love for them is all encompassing, and I cannot imagine how any parent could not feel the same way.
Eventually, and unfortunately, you learn that you have to let any expectations of how you think your parents should act or feel go. The expectations you have for them, no matter how small, will never be met.
For now, I enjoy and celebrate the time I have with my children. Soaking them in. Hoping I am not loving them too much (is that possible?).
No longer expecting anything from parents that only disappoint.
You get there, it's difficult and unfortunate, but you get there.